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Bersin by Deloitte: SAP Selected the Ultimate Award Recipient in the 2016 WhatWorks® Award Program

Finalists including Maersk Line, Dell and Pivotal Software model solutions using data to improve employee engagement 

OAKLAND, Calif., June 1, 2016Bersin by Deloitte today announced SAP, a leading enterprise application and analytics software provider, as the ultimate award recipient of the 2016 WhatWorks® Award program. SAP was selected for a new sales leadership model called insight-based selling that trains account executives and their teams to develop a clearer understanding and obtain key insights about their clients’ businesses in order to provide further value to them. Results of the WhatWorks award program, which recognizes innovation and excellence across the critical areas of high-impact HR, learning and talent, were announced April 28 at Bersin by Deloitte’s annual research conference, IMPACT 2016, at The Diplomat Resort & Spa in Hollywood, Florida.  

SAP was among top contenders that presented their achievements in a special session with IMPACT 2016 conference attendees. SAP and other finalists, which included Maersk Line, Dell and Pivotal Software, focused on programs using data-based insights to create customized HR, talent and learning programs that simplify processes. The contenders also focused on a shift from administering traditional HR and compliance processes, to driving business success. Bersin by Deloitte analysts were joined by other industry leaders in choosing the finalists. HR professionals attending the special session at IMPACT 2016 voted to select the ultimate award recipient. SAP, Maersk Line, Dell and Pivotal Software are featured in the print and digital editions of Human Resource Executive magazine’s June issue.  

"SAP was selected from more than 170 competitors and recognized for its customized insights-based sales leadership training program, and a complementary program that equips sales managers to coach and support team development,” said David Mallon, head of research, Bersin by Deloitte, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “With its entry in the category of Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders, SAP was recognized for creating a program that can both foster innovation and transformation at client companies and has been demonstrated to increase revenues for SAP. This year’s WhatWorks Award Program entries in all categories showed that many HR leaders and their teams are stepping up to harness new technologies and a flood of information at work. They are also working to simplify processes and build a culture of collaboration, empowerment and innovation.” 

Launched in 2013, the SAP insight-based sales training and coaching programs currently run in 22 countries, with nearly 1,000 sales managers trained worldwide.  

“We are excited that our customer insights-based sales leadership program has received this recognition,” said Rainer Stern, global vice president, sales acceleration and leadership programs, SAP. “Our program has both changed the coaching conversations between sales managers and account executives and, critically, transformed conversations between account executives and their customers.”  

The additional WhatWorks categories and finalists include: 

High-Impact Learning: Maersk Line, a large container shipping company that is part of Maersk Group, finished first for creating an in-house learning model called CARE PROgram. While the company overhauled its technology programs to improve customer service, it also retrained and oriented its 6,800-person customer service team. By shifting lower-revenue customers to a self-service technology platform, the company says it has been able to dramatically reduce the manual hours spent on bookings from 215,000 hours to just 33,000 hours per year, improve employee engagement scores, and encourage collaboration and teamwork.  

Acquiring Top Talent: Dell came out on top in this category for launching a series of innovations to improve customer- and talent-focused conversations. A new Social Media and Communities (SMaC) team helps employees engage effectively with prospects online. The company also integrated a social media and communications certification program into the company’s recruiting efforts. Now “employee advocates” share stories across a range of online and social media platforms. The company has gone from having minimal employee advocacy to a robust program with thousands of certified and active advocates on various social platforms. This activity has helped to guide Dell’s employment brand and tell its employment story in a more authentic way. Dell says external job hires through referrals have jumped from 19 percent to 39 percent.  

Transforming HR: Pivotal Software rose to the top in this category in part by taking the company’s software agile development methodologies and applying the principles of agile across all aspects of HR. The intense focus on candidate and employee experience while encouraging all team members to experiment with new concepts was a central part of embracing agile work methods. The team eliminated formal performance ratings and yearly performance conversations in favor of ongoing, real-time feedback, giving employees the opportunity to learn, develop and grow more quickly. Also, the team is applying the principles of agile and Lean Startup to help the business, and now its customers, to solve complex business problems through consultative facilitation methods. This has resulted in quicker decision-making and has been a showcase of how the HR team can add value in a new and different way to help customers transform the way they build software.   

Those interested in learning more about Bersin by Deloitte or its WhatWorks® membership may email or call +1 510 251 4400.  

About Bersin by Deloitte 

Bersin by Deloitte delivers research-based people strategies designed to help leaders and their organizations in their efforts to deliver exceptional business performance. Our WhatWorks® membership gives Fortune 1000 and Global 2000 HR professionals the information and tools they need to design and implement leading practice solutions, benchmark against others, develop their staff, and select and implement systems. A piece of Bersin by Deloitte research is downloaded on average approximately every minute during the business day. More than 5,000 organizations worldwide use our research and consulting to guide their HR, talent and learning strategies. For more information, please visit  

As used in this document, "Deloitte" means Deloitte Consulting LLP, a subsidiary of Deloitte LLP. Please see for a detailed description of the legal structure of Deloitte LLP and its subsidiaries. Certain services may not be available to attest clients under the rules and regulations of public accounting.  


Laura Evenson


Bersin by Deloitte

Deloitte Consulting LLP

+1 415 465 2711